Today it is unthinkable to conceive of the existence of high-end wines without the benefits provided by oak barrels. Here at Wine Barrels Australia you can rent wine barrels that will serve as tables or just for decoration ang increase visual appeal. You will find a great variety.
Wood and wine have been great allies since ancient times, although, initially, this was limited to being only the material from which the storage and transport containers were made. Today, it is unthinkable to conceive the existence of high-end wines without the benefits provided by oak barrels.
Some historians place the beginnings of this union hundreds of years before Christ, at a time when Armenian wine was transported to Babylon in palm wood barrels. Other more precise data place it in 800 AD, at the time when Charlemagne was Emperor of the West, when the use of wood to contain wine and transport it from one place to another had already become widespread.
What is a wine barrel?
A wine barrel is a container used for aging wines. In its origins the barrels were used only for the storage and transport of this drink. Due to their shape and size, they were useful for the marketing of wine because it was easy to roll them, and between two people they could transport large volumes without major complications.
However, it did not take long for winemakers and winemakers to notice the benefits that the wood contributed to the noble drink from the exchange of flavors and aromas that took place inside the barrel. That milestone marked the beginning of wood aging.
What types of wine barrels exist?
Like oenology, cooperage has also been refined over time. In general terms, there are two types of wine barrels that are the most used around the world:
French oak barrels: They add more finesse to the wines, soft aromas and flavors and pronounced notes of vanilla.
American oak barrels: They are made of a harder and less porous wood, perfect for varieties that require very little oxygenation during aging.
Currently, the forests from which the wood comes for the production of the best barrels are identified. The highest quality oak is born in the Tronçais forest, in the Allier department, which has 10,600 hectares of oak trees that are only exploited when they reach 80 years of age. The oldest trees in this forest were planted during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) to supply the French navy. Today, its wood occupies the highest position for the production of quality barrels.
Why is wine stored in barrels?
The wine is stored in oak barrels for different reasons that are detailed below:
It is a hard and aromatic wood, with essences that combine perfectly with the characteristics of this drink.
Oak brings its own tannins to the wine and is responsible for adding a little more body and structure.
Aging helps to “clean” the wine, since inside the barrels the solids are naturally separated from the liquid.
The exchange of compounds between the wood and the wine gives it roundness (balance, harmony between its components) and modifies the characteristics that are perceived in the tactile sensation, flavor and aromas of the drink.
How long can wine last in a barrel?
The wine can be aged in a barrel for as long as the winemaker or winemaker wishes. The maximum time that a high-end wine usually spends in the barrel before being bottled is two years.
How much storage capacity does a wine barrel have?
The wine barrels available on the market have different storage capacities: 190 liters, 225 liters, 250 liters, 300 liters, 400 liters, 500 liters and 650 liters respectively.
However, the most commonly used “standard” barrels are 225-liter Bordeaux barrels.
How much does a wine barrel weigh?
An empty 225-liter Bordeaux barrel usually weighs around 55 kilograms.
How much does a French oak barrel cost?
French oak barrels are more expensive than American oak barrels, since while ten barrels can be made from one cubic meter of American oak, in the case of French oak the number of barrels that can be made with the same amount of wood drops to six.
In Europe, the average purchase price of a new 225-liter French oak barrel is 650 euros.
What does the barrel adds to wine?
The traces of oak in wine are many and can be appreciated with all the senses:
- View: The tonality of the wine is darkened by the contribution of tannins and other compounds typical of oak.
- Taste: If the wood was not very toasted previously, the wine will have a more pronounced sweetness and will improve its structure and volume.
- Smell: The oak tends to diminish the more vegetal notes and highlight the aromas of toast, vanilla and coffee.
- Touch: The passage through wood gives the wine roundness, body and structure.
Undoubtedly, this noble and primitive material is one of the main allies of the great wines of the world.
How long does a barrel last?
In the world of wine, barrels have a useful life of between 8 and 10 years, and can be used for aging wines several times in a row.
In the case of high-end wines, the barrels are not used more than once.
Second and third use barrels provide less tannin and yield fewer components to the wines, and their action on the drink is not as pronounced in texture, colors, flavors and aromas as it happens with first use barrels.
This is a last resource included in the decoration but is still not habitual and that must dialogue with the group in a very precise way. It is not easy to make a good match between the furniture, that’s why you have to study everything in the space well. Wine Barrels can easily help you give this old western feeling to any area of the house and you can rent them or buy them today. Contact us for more information.